Various Artists

Town and Country Blues

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Starbucks has not only branched out into the album business -- recognizing that they have a built-in distribution network through their coffee shops -- with new releases by artists as varied as Anjulie and Wilco, but the company has also been issuing compilations of older, more vintage material like this one, which collects several different artists from varying times, places, and styles playing the blues. And varied is the key word, with tracks ranging from Sunnyland Slim's "Decoration Blues," Rev. Gary Davis' devastating "Death Don't Have No Mercy," Furry Lewis' "Goin' to Kansas City," and Tom Rush's folkish reading of "Baby Please Don't Go," to Jimmy Witherspoon's urbane and wry "Money's Gettin' Cheaper" represented in this fun set. Coffee and the blues -- makes sense somehow.

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